The Case for Active Meditation
Living a creative life can be demanding. There is the challenge of trying to put aside enough time from running a business to be artistic and of course, there are always times when a creative block will raise its ugly head for days – or months! Lately however, I’ve been on an inspired productive roll… and I intend to keep it that way.
To flourish as an artist, I need to make space to dream, ponder, experiment, and let my brain wander. Living in Southern California gives me the luxury to take a lot of outdoor moments and go for nature walks – ideal for musing about the best way to build or design a jewel. Or even sometimes, just blowing off steam to clear the brain or trying to think through a conundrum when a design isn’t working. It’s also perfect for sparking fresh inspiration: wandering in new terrain, observing new colors or patterns in the landscape I hadn’t seen before. My new Landscape Collection is a direct result of my wandering in nature all over the world.
Committing to a sitting, daily meditation practice is difficult for me, so I adjust what is “good for me” into something I can actually DO and accomplish. And the things I do for fun are really all moments of active meditation time. I like to zone out and work on 1000+ piece puzzles – the more complicated, the better! I relish going down real-estate rabbit holes and mentally re-building and re-designing the interiors of houses that pique my interest. Sometimes to the point of keeping me up all night. I enjoy baking – measured movements and thought with a delicious, satisfying outcome. And, I appreciate experimenting with other art forms like painting and sketching en plein air to allow my eyes to hone in on one particular area and capture all the nuances in that small space.
Of course, playing with my gems and building pieces of jewelry is also a form of meditation for me. All these activities allow me to concentrate not on the nitty gritty of my business, but instead relax, focus, and anchor myself with breathing. This gives my brain a time-out, and often I’ll solve a design riddle I’ve been thinking about or I’ll have an epiphany about a new design. And so, while I don’t practice classic meditation, it turns out that visualization, cloud gazing (or observing nature), coloring/painting, and walking are all forms of meditation in their own right.
While I have these numerous creative outlets, it’s hard for me to not feel anxious when I take my quiet creative time and feel like I'm not doing the right thing or should be doing something else. It takes a concerted effort to push that feeling away and keep my thoughts moving forward into unknown spaces. But I know, in the end, that my life’s purpose and passion is rooted in the expression of my creativity. Being able to share my ideas with you, showing and guiding you through my work, and inspiring you to regard the natural world as magical and wondrous, propels me into new realms of thought, emboldens me to continue to top my previous designs, and be even more creative in the future.
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